Friday, March 22, 2019

Rep. Kevin McCarthy moves to preserve the personal stories of our veterans through the Veterans History Project

 House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy gives us his weekly update from Capitol Hill. In his words:

"Throughout American history, courageous men and women have answered the call to serve. Our

veterans have sacrificed to protect our freedoms and principles. Risking one’s well-being for the good of the country is the ultimate act of patriotism, and I believe that America should hear their stories.

"That is why I am conducting interviews to be submitted to the Library of Congress through the Veterans History Project (VHP). In order to make sure our veterans' stories are preserved for future generations, my office will interview, videotape, and collect any memorabilia from our community’s veterans who would like to make a submission to the VHP. The VHP collects veterans’ personal accounts and makes the accounts accessible to the public so that others may hear the heroic stories firsthand.

 "If you are interested in sharing your story, please contact my Bakersfield office at (661) 327-3611 to schedule an appointment. To find additional information on the VHP, please visit the Library of Congress’s website at

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Assemblyman Vince Fong says threat to kill the oil industry is real and "dire," will Supervisor Leticia Perez resign before her trial, and we get the last super moon of the year

Friday, March 22, 2019

 Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this such a special to live. Send your tips to

 * ... OIL SUMMIT: How dire is it for the oil and gas industry in left leaning California? "The fight is real," says Assemblyman Vince Fong. "It's dire." That was one of the themes coming out of the West
Kern Petroleum Summit put on by Sheri Horn-Bunk and the Taft College Foundation. Fong, joined on a panel by Supervisor Zack Scrivner and state Sen. Shannon Grove, said it was too early to assess how Gov. Gavin Newsom feels about hydrocarbons, or if he is willing to sign onto legislation that would set a time limit on how low fossil fuels can be developed here. "Common sense is not very common in Sacramento," Fong noted.

 * ... LETICIA PEREZ: Julie Solis is a local Democratic activist and she prides herself with being plugged into the local political scene. And that is why I was so intrigued to see her Facebook post claiming that Supervisor Leticia Perez, charged with a conflict of interest violation for not disclosing her husband was representing cannabis interests, would resign before her trial. True? Perez told me via text that she was fighting the charge and would continue to serve her district. Time will tell.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Do regular dogs see police dogs and think, 'Oh crap! It’s the cops'"?

 * ... HEAD SCRATCHER: After reporting the number of homeless in Kern County had jumped 50 percent since last year, KBAK TV uses this headline over its story: "The number of homeless in Kern County doubled since 2018 PIT count." Doubled? Math is not someone's strong point over off Westwind Drive.

 * ... DORMS: The opposition to the proposed privately funded dormitories for CSUB students is formidable, and if I were a betting man, I would say this project is dead on arrival. Some of the most prominent names in town live in areas that oppose the idea - Stockdale Estates, Olde Stockdale, Amberton, the Shores, and Quailwood - as well as CSUB  president Lynnette Zelezny.

: Did you catch the full moon this week? This was your last chance of the year to catch the supermen and it'd falls on the same day as the vernal equinox, which signals the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is also called the Full Worm Moon. Also known under names like the Crow Moon, Sap Moon, Sugar Moon, and Lenten Moon, the Full Worm Moon is the last full moon of the winter and basically signals the start of spring—it's finally here!—which is when temperatures rise and earthworms begin to surface, hence the name. This full moon is also a supermoon, meaning it'll be the closest to the Earth at that time than it was the whole month of March.

 * ... GRIMMWAY FARMS: Grimmway Farms President Jeff Huckaby joined Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue this week to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. The New York Stock Exchange welcomed Secretary Perdue, other agriculture executives, and his guests to profile the future of agriculture in America. Also joining the group were two young members of the New York Future Farmers of America.

 * ... MEMORIES: Another great old picture from downtown Bakersfield over the years.

* ...MORE MEMORIES: And here, thanks to the Kern County of Old Facebook page, is a wonderful shot of the county court house. (1912-1952) 1415 Truxtun Avenue. Demolished after 1952 quake.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A fight is brewing over proposed privately funded student housing at CSUB, Muslim students at the campus plan a prayer vigil for the victims of the New Zealand massacre and a weekend car show sucks the life out of downtown

Monday, March 18, 2019

 Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this such a special to live. Send your tips to

 * ... CSUB DORMS: Keep an eye on CSUB were a fight is brewing over student housing, in this case a developer's attempt to build two high-rise student dormitories off campus. CSUB president
Lynette Zelezny weighed in on the controversy immediately, penning an opinion piece in the Sunday Californian siding with residents of Stockdale Estates who oppose the idea. The idea is to build two dorms on six acres of land at the corner of Stockdale Highway and Gosford Road, already one of the busiest intersections in the city. Zelezny argues, convincingly, that any new dorms should be located on campus, but there is no guarantee the CSU regents will approve any new projects particularly given that CSUB dorms are only 64 percent occupied. This seems to be a classic case of NIMBY (not in my back yard). Go to any major campus - UCLA, UC Berkeley, USC, Michigan at Ann Arbor etc - and you will find privately funded student housing co-existing along with campus housing. Zelezny and the NIMBY warriors may win this round, but if CSUB truly continues to grow, privately funded student housing will be a near certainty.

 * ... PRAYER VIGIL: The Muslim Student Association at CSUB will hold a prayer vigil for victims of the New Zealand massacre on Monday evening starting at 7 p.m. at the student center. patio All members of the community are invited.

* ... BAD FORM: So who is the genius behind the downtown Cruise-4-Charity car show, and why is it such a good idea to basically close down the central business district so a few hundred people can gawk at vintage cars? God forbid you own Uricchio's, Chef's Choice Noodle Bar, Jin Sushi, Muertos or any of the other downtown restaurants, because it was virtually impossible to reach those places thanks to the closed off streets on Saturday. How about Hart Park, or the fairgrounds, or anywhere else where businesses are not so impacted? A bad idea that needs to end.

 * ... URNERS: Congratulations to Urner's Appliance Center which is celebrating an incredible 100 years in business in Kern County. If you live here, chances are you have bought a washer, or a dryer, or a range or a refrigerator from this iconic Bakersfield appliance company. Founded a century ago and still going strong.

 * ... MEMORIES: Chester Avenue as seen on a postcard, circa 1912.